Thursday, May 25, 2006

CABG - Legal Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

If a patient is told by a cardiologist that his or her heart is in "GREAT SHAPE," but he or she needs a CABG or he could drop dead at any time, and the doctor hands the patient a pen with which to sign the permission to perform the surgery, he should be arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit assault. If this patient, with the heart in "GREAT SHAPE," indeed has the surgery, the cardio-thoracic surgeon and all of his assistants, including the cardiologist who referred the patient should be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. And if, this patient whose heart was in "GREAT SHAPE" before the surgery happens to die on the table or of later complications, that entire group of conspirators should be charged with murder.

Two years ago, after seeking a second opinion from a noninvasive cardiologist, I opted for treatment with medication for my unstable angina instead of a quintuple bypass. Ten days ago, my friend underwent a triple CABG and he is miserable. He is afraid to go to sleep at night for fear that he won't wake up. He is not allowed to lift anything heavier than his shoes for several months. He can't walk more than 1/2 hour a day for 3 months. He feels like his guts are going to fall out.

Granted, a year from today, if he is lucky, he'll say to me, "I feel great, I am so glad I had that surgery last May." But I am equally convinced I'll be able to say, "I've felt great for three years and didn't have the CABG." He may then say, but you must take all kinds of medicine every day for the rest of your life." And my response shall be, "Well, don't you as well."

Before you let a cardiologist talk you into this major surgery that you probably don't need, please, get a second opinion from a noninvasive cardiologist. If your current heart doctor says, "Oh, you are a walking time bomb, you haven't time for that," or "Dr. Cutter is a cardio-thoracic surgeon, he's your second opinion," RUN, don't walk to a noninvasive cardiologist because chances are those other two guys are lying to you.

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